Fiorentina FC Captain David Astori Is Dead

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Fiorentina called for respect and silence on Monday after Italy's football chief Giovanni Malago appeared to make a gaff by erroneously declaring a contract extension had been posthumously granted to the club's deceased captain Davide Astori. "It is odd that such a thing should happen to a professional who is so closely monitored without there being any warning signs".

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has expressed UEFA's shock and sadness at the sudden death of Fiorentina and Italy defender Davide Astori who passed away suddenly on Sunday at the age of 31. "Due to the awful and delicate situation, and above all for the respect of his family, an appeal is made to everyone's sensitivity".

Astori's body was taken to a hospital in Udine for an autopsy.

Fiorentina and Cagliari have retired their number 13 shirt in memory of Davide Astori, the Italian clubs have announced.

Astori was set to extend his stay with Stefano Piolo's men with a new four-year contract to be signed on Monday. The early kick-off between Genoa and Cagliari, one of Astori's former clubs, was abandoned when players learned the news while warming up on the pitch.

Led by coach Stefano Pioli, the Fiorentina squad gathered at the gates of the Artemio Franchi stadium where the team play their home games and placed a picture of Astori alongside the banners, scarves and messages previously left by fans.

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Bakic and Astori shared one season together at the Viola and evidently formed a close friendship in that time before the former joined Braga in 2016.

Astori's former club Cagliari, for whom he played 174 games over six seasons, have also agreed no longer to use the No. 13, which he also wore while he played for them. He got on the field in March 2011 for a friendly against Ukraine, which Italy won 2-0.

Astori scored his only Azzurri goal against Uruguay in the third-place match of the 2013 Confederations Cup. Italy would go on to win the match on penalty kicks.

"Other moments, more than fantastic, we spent at Coverciano, above all during the lunches and dinners at that corner of the table, where we had a ton of laughs!"

Former Italy Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was one of the first to pay tribute.